From The Monacelli Press comes the new book, LOT-EK: OBJECTS + OPERATIONS, which delves into the studio's adaptive reuse process of creating functional living and working spaces out of discarded shipping containers.
The book itself is visually compelling, with projects "sequenced along a spectrum of color, starting and ending at yellow." It closely examines a variety of 21st-century projects, with each example featured on the left-hand page and a detailed photo from their URBANSCAN project on the right-hand page. The result is a book that moves seamlessly between a macro and micro view of their design philosophy as it applies to transforming discarded materials into functional properties.
The yellow shipping container structure shown below illustrates the type of projects embraced by LOT-EK. In this instance, eight shipping containers were reimagined as an educational and community site. The structure is intentionally established along the river edge to "allow its users to be visitors, spectators, and actors...to enduringly activate the riverfront."
"LOT-EK begins by looking for the dirt everywhere: for the backstage objects, products, and artifacts that enable architecture to exist." -from LOT-EK: Objects + Operations
An especially innovative project detailed in the book is the award-winning Puma City, a retail, office, bar, and event space comprised of 24 shipping containers that were retrofitted and transformed into "a transportable retail and event venue that travels around the world. The building is fully dismountable and can travel using standard container networks of transportation." The structure has been assembled and disassembled in a number of international locations, from Spain and China to the U.S.
The book also includes 11 conversations between founding partners Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano, "the topics of which correspond to seven essays by Thomas de Monchaux, all of which can be read sequentially or sampled discontinuously on each page." This is indeed a text that can be examined in its entirety or taken in a project at a time.
"LOT-EK is a design practice that believes in being unoriginal, ugly, and cheap. Also in being revolutionary, gorgeous, and completely luxurious. LOT-EK believes that these conditions are not contradictions, but are in fact mutually dependent."